The Book of Common Prayer: The Texts of 1549, 1559, and 1662  -     By: Brian Cummings
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The Book of Common Prayer: The Texts of 1549, 1559, and 1662

Oxford University Press / 2013 / Paperback

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Product Description

Analyze different stages of the greatest prayer book in English: the 1549 edition, which brought the Reformation into people's homes; the 1559 Elizabethan edition, familiar to Shakespeare and Milton; and the 1662 edition, which set the tone for worship right up to modern times. Detailed explanatory notes with glossary. 896 pages, softcover. Oxford University.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 896
Vendor: Oxford University Press
Publication Date: 2013
Dimensions: 7.70 X 5.10 (inches)
ISBN: 0199645205
ISBN-13: 9780199645206
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

'In the midst of life we are in death.'

The words of the Book of Common Prayer have permeated deep into the English language all over the world. For nearly 500 years, and for countless people, it has provided a background fanfare for a marriage or a funeral march at a burial. Yet this familiarity also hides a violent and controversial history. When it was first produced the Book of Common Prayer provoked riots and rebellion, and it was banned before being translated into a host of global languages and adopted as the basis for worship in the USA and elsewhere to the present day.

This edition presents the work in three different states: the first edition of 1549, which brought the Reformation into people's homes; the Elizabethan prayer book of 1559, familiar to Shakespeare and Milton; and the edition of 1662, which embodies the religious temper of the nation down to modern times.

About the Series: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

Author Bio


Brian Cummings received his BA at Cambridge University, where he also took his PhD under the supervision of the poet Geoffrey Hill and the church historian Eamon Duffy. He was previously a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge before moving to Sussex, and, from October 2012, the University of York. He was a British Academy Exchange Fellow at the Huntington Library, California, in 2007 and held a three-year Major Research Fellowship with the Leverhulme Trust from 2009 to 2012.

Editorial Reviews


"[I]f this edition makes the prayer book texts available to--and appreciated by--more general readers, it will have served its admirable purpose." -- Catholic Historical Review


"Magnificent edition" --Diarmaid MacCulloch, London Review of Books


"Superb edition...excellent notes and introduction" --Rowan Williams, Times Literary Supplement


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    A birthday present for my wife. She was delighted as was I.
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    I was extremely pleased with my first perusal of the book. I am looking forward to taking time in 2012 to examine and compare the three services to see how they remained the same or changed over the years. I am totally committed to preserving our ancient liturgy.
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